WVFFC Newsletter header


In This Issue
Edible Winter Gardening and Marketing Workshop - Dec. 4
Seminar on medicinal uses of mountain roots
2010 Small Ruminant Short Course
Nominations Requested for NRDC Growing Green Awards
Organic Agriculture Research and Extension funding
Must-read Benedum report: Growing the Local Food Economy
ASAP: Farm-to-School Success in Appalachia

The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is an initiative of the West Virginia Community Development Hub with funding from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.  The Coalition is establishing a statewide conversation about the development of local food systems across West Virginia, with the goal of providing healthy, locally-produced food to all citizens, especially low income families and other vulnerable groups. 

The Coalition's startup process is advised by a temporary advisory committee.  As we gain members, we are working towards a more developed decision-making structure inclusive of the various geographic regions of the state as well as a broad range of stakeholders.  We invite you to get involved!

The West Virginia Community
Development Hub
is a statewide non-profit organization with the mission of engaging communities and providers in an intentional, aligned and continuous system of community development.
Join our mailing list, join our network!

We hope you are enjoying the snow!  This has been a busy month for food and nutrition issues in Congress.  Read below for news updates as well as upcoming WV events and resources.


What's new with WVFFC

 WV local food advocates discuss organizational options.  Late last month, representatives from organizations across West Virginia gathered in Clarksburg to discuss statewide collaboration on the issues of food, health and agriculture. Facilitated by the WV Community Development Hub and the Food & Farm Coalition, it was the most recent in a series of meetings to discuss solidifying a structured organization or council to look at West Virginia food issues from a statewide, multi-sector perspective.  Read the full article on the WVFFC website.

Get connected to WV local foods discussions
Don't forget to visit our "Get Connected!" portal and tell us more about yourself.  With this information we are creating a statewide database of food system stakeholders.  Visiting this page enables to you be included (if you wish) in statewide conversations about specific topics you're interested in (e.g. farmers markets, SNAP benefits, resources for producers, etc.) as well as conversations with other people in your geographic region. 

State and National Food News

Food Safety Modernization Act passes Senate, but still has distance to travel.  The Washington Post reported on the passage of Senate Bill 510 earlier this week.  The bill would expand FDA powers to regulate food safety for larger agri-businesses, and contains exemptions for small farms.  However, the bill still has hurdles to cross before being signed into law, including questions about its constitutionality.

WP dispatch from Huntington: "The new front in the culture wars:  food."  Brent Cunningham (Columbia Journalism Review editor) and Jane Black (former Washington Post staff writer) have moved to Huntington, WV to work on a book about that city's efforts to change how its inhabitants eat. In this Washington Post article they discuss their book and the cultural questions associated with American's food consumption habits. 

Child Nutrition Reauthorized, increases school lunch funds.  On Thursday, the House voted in favor of the the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which reauthorizes Child Nutrition legislation and makes additional provisions.  The bill now goes to the President for signature.  Read the Washington Post article here.  Rep. Shelley Moore Capito broke rank with Republicans to support the bill, as the Charleston Gazette reports.  Jane Black blogs about the signficance of the new act in boosting the reimbursement rate for school lunches and ensuring that needy kids are enrolled for free school lunch.


Virginia holds farm-to-school week, encouraged by Food Council.  In March, with encouragement from the Virginia Food Systems Council, the Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution establishing a Virginia Farm to School week.  The week ran Novermber 8-12 in schools across the state.  The state estimates, "If $0.25 a day per student lunch is devoted to purchasing locally grown Virginia farm products, a total of $170,376 would be generated daily and more than $30.7 million would be reinvested annually in Virginia communities and the economy."  Read more here.

Upcoming Events 
in and near West Virginia

Edible Winter Gardening and Marketing Workshop - Dec. 4

 Fayette County Farmers Market Association invites you to a workshop to on growing and marketing fruits, vegetables & greens in the winter & early spring beginners and advanced high tunnel growers will both benefit.  Featuring Anthony Flaccavento, Virginia farmer, nationally recognized development consultant for small-scale farms and food systems.

Date:  Dec. 4, 10 AM until early afternoon

Location:  Fayetteville Presbyterian Church, 401 W. Maple Ave, Fayetteville

10am - noon:  Low-cost season extension methods

Noon:  Lunch (including locally-grown winter produce!)
1pm - afternoon:  Cooperative marketing methods presentation followed by farmers market sellers discussion

RSVP REQUESTED - 304-673-0053 / fayettemarket@gmail.com. Event is free.  This workshop is made possible by the Central Appalachian Network and the Ford Foundation in partnership with the Natural Capital Investment Fund.

WV Society of American Foresters offers seminar on medicinal uses of mountain roots

The WV Society of American Foresters in collaboration with the WVU Extension Service and the Frostburg State Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical Studies is sponsoring the "Mountain Roots" seminar.  This evening seminar is taught by certified herbalist Mimi Hernandez, who describes traditional medicinal uses of many of our woods grown roots.  Last 2010 seminar date: Raleigh County WVU Extension office, Beckley--Monday, December 6, 2010

All seminars run 6:30-8:30pm.  Registration begins at 6pm and costs $5 at the door.  Light refreshments will be served.  Contact:  David W. McGill, Ph.D., Forestry Extension Specialist, WVU Appalachian Hardwood Center, Ph: 304-293-5930 / Email: dmcgill@wvu.edu

2010 Small Ruminant Short Course

Educational program for sheep and goat producers, December 11, 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m.  Features John Peter's Memorial Lecturer as well as updates from WVU Faculty and others on:  Fetal Losses & Synchronization Trials in Goats, Proposed New Marketing Strategies, Scrapie Update & hands-on demonstration on Conducting Fecal Egg Counts to Manage Parasites of sheep & goats.  Annual meeting of W.Va. Shepherd's Federation at 1 p.m.

Location:  Camp Pioneer, Beverly, W.Va.

Contact Brad Smith, 304-257-4688; Brad.Smith@mail.wvu.edu; http://sheepandgoats.wvu.edu/
(grants, awards, partnership ideas) 

Nominations Requested for NRDC Growing Green Awards 

There are only a few days left to nominate a sustainable food producer, business leader, researcher or young food hero for NRDC's Growing Green Awards.  These national awards recognize food leaders across the country who are transforming the future of food. NRDC will award $15,000 in prizes, including $5,000 in the new Young Food Leader category. Winners will be selected by an expert panel of judges: Author Michael Pollan, chef Dan Barber, author and activist Maria Rodale, and UC Davis professor Dr. Tom Tomich.

Nominations are due December 10. Find eligibility details and apply online at http://bit.ly/growgrn

Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative requests funding applications

The OREI seeks to solve critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems through the integration of research and extension activities. The purpose of this program is to fund projects that will enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic agricultural products.  Eligible applicants include individuals, nonprofits, institutions of higher learning, small businesses and others.  Due Feb. 10, 2010.  http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/rfas/OREI.html

Food for Thought
(fruitful reading, research & case studies)
Have You Read This Report?

"From Farm to Table:  Growing the Local Food Economy," an annual report published by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, carefully profiles some of West Virginia's most successful local food marketing models.  The report is full of data and is a must-read for those concerned with West Virginia food systems. 

Farm to School success in Appalachia 

Read about how the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), located in nearby western North Carolina, has worked with farmers and food service directors to bring local produce into area schools. 

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